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Full text of "Rapid Population Growth Consequences And Policy Implications"

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level. Among the unmarried females in the sample, higher educational level is clearly associated with higher incidence of abortion. Among married women, however, the highest rates of induced abortion were reported for those who did not complete a high school education. Whether one can draw a general conclusion from these findings regarding the total population of married women in the United States is questionable, because the sample was deemed unrepresentative by a statistical committee in 1955 (62).
Women in the Labor Force. Numerous studies from various countries in eastern Europe and the U.S.S.R. have documented the relationship between the participation of women in the labor force and the incidence of induced abortion. For example, a study by Sadvokasova in the U.S.S.R. (54) reported a ratio of abortion of 105.5 per 1,000 working women and only 41.5 per 1,000 for the nonemployed. A study of legal abortions in a Hungarian hospital found 68 percent involved women working outside the home and only 32 percent involved housewives (63). A Czechoslovakian law, under its "special considerations" clause, permits a woman who is the chief or sole supporter of a family to secure an abortion.
These studies indicate that employment of women is a low fertility determinant. However, in regard to the developing countries, the kind of work available to women is important in terms of lowering fertility. In Pakistan, for example, many women work with their husbands for pay in the fields, or even on roads. This factor cannot be expected to lower fertility unless different types of employment for women emerge.
Modernization and Urbanization
Many aspects of modernization and urbanization that motivate couples to limit family size and therefore to increase abortion have been sketched earlier. Modernization, of course, is a many-faceted process in which economics, education, industrialization, women's roles and rights, urbanization, and limited housing are involved. Although measuring modernization and assessing its association with abortion are beyond the scope of this paper, the findings reported throughout this text do suggest that a wave of induced abortion is characteristic of most modernizing countries. Although data for the premodernizing era are missing, it is most likely that the incidence of induced abortion increases as the process of social, economic, and demographic changes gains momentum. In societies in which modernization factors have intensified desires to limit family size, while the availability and acceptance of effective contraceptive methods are limited, there are numerous implications for induced abortion.
The direct effect of urbanization on the prevalence of abortion has been evaluated in several studies by comparing modernizing communities with traditional ones. Requena (23), for example, reported that the frequency of